Power Skills in Business

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Business Experts Say “Soft Skills” Are “Power Skills”

Technology is impacting all kinds of business and changing the way we work. As more business operations and jobs are changing due to automation, there is a new emphasis on capabilities for business. Creativity and communication abilities are two of the skills differentiating humans from machines. For example, automation can input data for analysis, while collaboration and communication is needed to discover how the data can best be applied to the business.KOHGRXNXL0_meeting_sticky

For these reasons the “soft skills” including negotiation, interviewing and business writing are taking on a new importance. Working with executives from large and middle-market businesses, Kathy Osborn, the Executive Director of the St. Louis Regional Business Council, suggested changing the term “soft skills” to “power skills.”

A majority of business decision makers agree with Osborn’s assessment of soft skills as the real power skills. Researchers discovered 77% of employers surveyed believe that soft skills are more important than hard skills. It is one of the findings in “The Rise of Soft Skills and Why They Matter Now.”

These power skills are on the rise in many industries and for many different reasons. Diverse and positive workplaces demand good communication skills, collaboration and respect.LUBQRTO8JB_handshake

Mobile technology and social media increases an organization’s exposure every day. Employees who deal with the public need power skills of listening, empathy and negotiation to be the best business ambassadors or risk a customer’s frustration becoming a viral assault on your brand.

What power skills matter most? Online learning platform, Udemy looked at what more than 20 million individuals are studying to come up with a top ten list.

Manager Training

Emotional Intelligence

Business Writing

Focus Strategies

Personal Development

Presentation and Public Speaking

Negotiation

Stress Management

Customer Service

Interviewing Skills

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A Virtual Waiting Room Added to Services at the APA Adoption Center

IMG_20180417_004229 (1)Some visitors first stop is to see the dogs and cats looking for homes at the APA Adoption Center. It is fun, rivaling the birthday parties, pet showers, or some of the educational classes and workshops at the center.

My first stop at the center in Brentwood, Missouri near Saint Louis is usually the wellness clinic. One of the busiest areas of the adoption center, it serves over 10,000 pets each year.

IMG_20180214_123057The wellness clinic is where veterinary staff perform health screenings, vaccinate against disease and spay or neuter each pet prior to adoption. The APA wellness clinic is open to the public offering low-cost exams and vaccinations for pets.

I’ve found it to be a great place to meet adorable animals and great pet parents while they wait to see the veterinarian or pick up medication. The clinic reception area is a favorite hunting ground in my search for interesting stories about animal adoptions and the role pets play in their daily lives. Many owners like to share what makes their pet special. No matter how hectic life gets, our pets are there for us.

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I’ve seen fewer people and pets in the APA Wellness Clinic reception and intake area. It isn’t that there are fewer pets and people visiting, they just aren’t sitting and waiting as long anymore.

Technology is helping to take the wait and crowded waiting room out of the APA Wellness Clinic. Anyone can get in a virtual line to see a veterinarian.

It is easy to join the virtual queue from home, the office, or on the run using your phone. You’ll receive text updates and notifications on forecast wait times so you and your pet can wait where you want.photo-1423666639041-f56000c27a9a

The QLess platform in use now at the APA clinic helps people around the world every day to avoid wasting time in line at license offices, hospitals, and businesses.

“We give time back to millions of people who otherwise would have to waste time standing in line,” explains Dr. Alex Bäcker, CEO of Qless.

This technology makes it simple to get in line at the APA Wellness Clinic from home, the office or even on-the-go using your phone. The text notifications allow pet parents to stay updated about estimated wait times and when they are next in line.

“With the QLess App we’re always looking for ways to incorporate technology and improve customer service. By reducing time spent in our waiting room we can better serve people and their pets,” says Kim Brown, APA Director of Operations and Vice President.

unnamedIt is easy to join the line, just send a text message “APA Clinic” to 417-720-2235. APA clinic clients will receive a text confirming your place in the queue.

Or pet owners may join the line via a computer by visiting APA website and the virtual waiting room at https://apamo.org/pet-services/virtual-waiting-room/.

The QLess notification is not an appointment time or reservation, but a way to give APA Wellness Clinic clients freedom and flexibility to wait wherever they want.DrD

The clinic’s hours are 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. The APA is centrally located in Saint Louis County at 1705 South Hanley Road with easy access to interstates 64 and 40.

Learn more about the many community programs at the APA Adoption Center or how to bring home a furry friend at https://apamo.org/

 

Gender Matters in Mobile and Broadband Access

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It may seem like everyone from pre-teens to savvy seniors has a mobile device or access to broadband these days. But this is not the case around the world. In many nations, women have considerably less access to mobile technology and the opportunity it offers.

For example, in Africa and in South East Asia, there is a big mobile phone gender gap. About twenty percent fewer women have access to mobile than men. This is a big obstacle for women because access to mobile allows them to access to information about health, entrepreneurship and all sorts of opportunities and advantages.

With the backdrop of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, technology firms including Ericsson are working to highlight the potential of mobile technology in solving some of the world’s major challenges. Ericsson President and CEO Hans Vestberg appeared as a panel speaker at the Social Good Summit, where the main theme is #2030Now. You can learn more about the summit at http://mashable.com/sgs/

One of the aspects under discussion includes the mobile gender gap following a Broadband Commission Report on the results of the Working Group on Broadband and Gender. Anne Bouverot, Director General of GSMA, spoke on initiatives to bridge the gap: “When you think about mobile, you think that everyone has access to mobile but in particular in Africa and in South East, there is a big mobile phone gender gap – it’s roughly 20% less women that have access to mobile than men. And why it matters is because when you have access to mobile, you can have access to information about health, access to information about entrepreneurship and all sorts of capabilities.”

The Broadband Commission Report “Working Group on Broadband and Gender: Doubling Digital opportunities – enhancing the inclusion of women & girls in the Information Society” presents policy for promoting gender equality agendas in national policy-making, as well as practical policy suggestions to expand women’s access to broadband and boost female participation in the Information Society. The five policy recommendations are: integrating gender and national ICT and broadband policies; improving sex-disaggregated ICT statistics and measurement; boosting the affordability and usability of ICTs; improving relevant and local content online; and finally initiating an action plan to achieve gender equality in access to broadband by 2020. You can access the broadband report at http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/working-groups/bb-doubling-digital-2013.pdf

Mobile technology and broadband is a gender issue in some areas.

Mobile technology and broadband is a gender issue in some areas.

Game of Numbers as Technology Unlocks Insights in Fantasy Football

Football is back and in offices and coffee shops, fans are talking about their favorite teams and their fantasy drafts. Even on late night television; Jimmy Fallon and drummer, Questlove, of the Roots shared fantasy football draft insights.

It is a serious matter for millions of football fans. Recent research by Intel shows 75 percent of fantasy football players demand real-time data, and two-thirds feel that technology is critical to helping them successfully manage their teams.

Tech tools can help teams determine how factors such as weather, time of day, travel schedules, team composition and the frequency of injuries could affect the likelihood of a win.  More than five million pieces of data from on-field sensors, video feeds and other sources will be collected and analyzed to give teams and fantasy football players a competitive edge this season!  STATS, one sports technology, data and content company, uses real-time scores, historical sports information and turnkey fantasy sports platforms. This information is provided to media companies and professional sports leagues, and to teams for game analysis and tactical coaching tools.

Check out this video on how technology and mobile connectivity are bringing fans closer to the game:


Tech tools change the fantasy football experience

Tech tools change the fantasy football experience

Your Windows Of Opportunity

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Ericsson gives sneak peek into connected future

A regular window as a portal of opportunities?  Yes! It is possible using a transparent antenna, an ordinary window could easily become part of the mobile broadband network, boosting indoor coverage for a great mobile experience inside buildings.  For busy commuters, bus and subway rides can be super productivity and tech surf times. By connecting train or bus windows, the daily commute becomes a very effective, extended office or a well-connected tech hub.

The possibilities to tech windows of opportunity don’t stop at the bus or subway stop! Connected windows offer a spectrum of new and exciting possibilities such as automated blinds and cloud control for ventilation, lights, and other household appliances. The connected window holds opportunities to reduce building energy consumption and by adding transparent solar cells to produce electricity, these applications can power themselves and deliver excess energy into the smart grid.  Windows could be used as a whiteboard that captures what you have written and emails you the notes and much more.

The Mobile World Congress begins today and Ericsson will show the mobile world what the Networked Society could look like by 2020.  You don’t have to travel to Barcelona to see the demonstration of how ordinary windows may became key in the high-speed mobile broadband highway.  Just check out the video below on how this technology can make it easy for you to connect to your social network wherever you are.